Thousands of Oakland residents will likely find themselves in different council and school board districts next year, as council members redraw political maps to reflect population shifts documented in the 2010 census.
During a 6 p.m. special meeting on Tuesday, council members are scheduled to reach a tentative agreement on new district boundaries that would then be discussed at a public hearing before a final vote next month.
The most provocative of the three maps currently under consideration would divide both the Adams Point neighborhood on one north side of Lake Merritt as well as the neighborhoods on the south side of the lake, though council members didn't expect that proposal to get much traction.
"The sense I get is that Adams Point will not be split in half and the (other side of the lake) will go into District 2 as it should have been all along," Councilman Dan Kalb said.
Another issue is whether to unite the Maxwell Park neighborhood and whether it should go into the predominantly Hills district represented by Libby Schaaf or the predominantly East Oakland district, represented by Desley Brooks. The neighborhood is currently divided between both districts.
San Leandro leaders to create flag policy
San Leandro Mayor Stephen Cassidy and Council members Benny Lee and Pauline Cutter have been charged with crafting a city policy on the raising of foreign and causal flags.
The three were appointed to an ad hoc flag committee Monday by a vote of the council. At an emotion-filled meeting last month, Cassidy and Cutter voted against Lee's request to raise the flag of the People's Republic of China on National Day at City Hall as a show of support for the local Chinese community and as a sign the city is open for Chinese business.
Despite the pleas of Tibetan human rights activists to deny the request, the council approved the request in a 4-3 vote. But Cassidy halted the plan through a reconsideration power granted in the City Charter, and the council decided this month a committee would draft a flag raising policy that would return to the full council for a vote.
Flag committee meetings will be open to the public and are expected to begin in December.
Cassidy said his objective is "to develop a policy based upon public input that brings us together as a welcoming, tolerant community that celebrates the diverse cultures and traditions of San Leandrans and recognizes the universal human rights of all peoples."
Oakland to discuss foreclosure strategy
The Oakland City Council will soon consider whether to endorse Richmond's strategy to use eminent domain as a tool to fight foreclosure and study whether it should do the same. The council will take up the issue at a 4:30 p.m. special meeting on Nov. 5 that was requested by Council members Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Noel Gallo.
As was the case in Richmond, many Oakland homeowners lost their homes during the housing crisis and many foreclosed properties were snatched up by Wall Street-financed investment outfits.
Richmond's plan, strongly opposed by the financial industry, is to seize underwater mortgages, refinance them at current market values and sell them back to the homeowner. Although Richmond's council voted last month to move ahead with developing the strategy, the city has not yet granted approval to use eminent domain to rescue homeowners from foreclosure.